7x04 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 7x04
"Child's Play"


EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

An ice cream truck drives along the street. It’s not a good neighborhood – there’s graffiti everywhere and no kids to be seen – but it’s still got its music playing. Finally it crashes into a wall and the music stops. A person jumps out of the back, leaving the body of ANTON VETOTCHKIN alone in the truck.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

ALEXIS, MARTHA, BECKETT, and CASTLE are finishing up at the dinner table.

RICHARD CASTLE
Oh my God, ice cream? Are you trying to kill me?

ALEXIS CASTLE laughs.

ALEXIS CASTLE
At least you’ll die happy. (CASTLE sighs) Kate?

She sets a giant dish of ice cream between him and KATE BECKETT.

KATE BECKETT
Oh, no, thanks. I couldn’t Not after this amazing meal that you guys just stuffed us with.

MARTHA RODGERS
Oh, darling, I’m sorry, dessert is not optional. Not after I traipsed all over town to find Richard his flavor of ice cream.

CASTLE grasps ALEXIS’ arm.

CASTLE
Potato chip fudge?

MARTHA
Yes!

BECKETT’S jaw drops in disgust.

CASTLE
Beckett, dig deep. Come – you would not quit at mile twenty-five of a marathon.

BECKETT
You know what? Why don’t we take a break and you and I do dishes?

She stands. CASTLE tries to stand with her.

ALEXIS
Don’t even think about it. Gram and I have it covered.

MARTHA’S face says she’s not thrilled with that suggestion, but she shrugs and helps ALEXIS to clear the table. ALEXIS grabs the dishes BECKETT was holding and heads for the sink. BECKETT makes a face and sits down. CASTLE smiles at the ice cream.

BECKETT
You are not letting them do dishes after they just cooked.

CASTLE
They want to.

BECKETT
You’re seriously milking this whole ‘I’ve been missing for two months’ thing, aren’t you?

CASTLE
They are glad to have me back. And if fussing over me makes them happy – (he drops his voice) - enjoy it. Like you ought to be enjoying this potato chip fudge ice cream sundae. It’s got that whole salty/sweet thing going on. It’s just – just like me.

He holds out a spoonful for her to eat. She makes a face and sighs, but she obliges him, opening her mouth and letting him feed her. She chews once and her expression changes. It’s actually good.

BECKETT
Mmm.

Her phone rings. Stops and points to her mouth.

CASTLE
I’ll – get – yeah, I’ll get it.

She continues to chew, ignoring the brain freeze as she swallows.

CASTLE
Beckett’s phone.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

BECKETT and CASTLE pull up to the crime scene.

BECKETT
Look, I know that you’ve only been back for a few weeks and we’re all still trying to process it, but, I’ve gotta say, Alexis waiting on you hand and foot – it’s just a little odd.

CASTLE
You know what’s really odd? An ice cream truck in the middle of nowhere? There’s no kids lining up to buy Bomb Pops around here.

BECKETT
Yeah, this couldn’t have been the driver’s route.

KEVIN RYAN
Not even close. I just got off the phone with the owner of the ice cream truck, Sergei Vetochkin. The victim’s his son, Anton, 22. They found him behind the wheel around 5PM.

CASTLE
Is nothing sacred? I mean, who kills an ice cream man, a symbol of childhood innocence?

BECKETT
Maybe someone wanted his money.

RYAN
Except that today’s cash receipts were still in the van.

LANIE PARISH
And whoever did this shot him at close range. Two GSWs to the chest with powder burns.

She points to the bullet holes on ANTON’S body.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
We figure the shooter boarded the truck and shot Anton, knocking him back into the shifter. It went into first and that’s why the truck rolled here. The killer probably bolted out the back.

BECKETT
Anyone see it?

RYAN
We’ve got unis canvassing for witnesses but it’s not exactly an area where people hang out.

BECKETT
And what about street cams?

RYAN
Coverage is spotty. We’ll get really lucky if we get a hit.

CASTLE
What was this kid doing here in the first place?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

SERGEI VETOTCHKIN
I don’t know why our son would be in that neighborhood. That’s – that’s not where we do business.

BECKETT
Well, is it possible that he was involved in something that would take him down there? Something dangerous?

SERGEI
No. Anton was a good boy. Never got in trouble.

BECKETT
Were there any troubles on his route? Anything unusual going on in his life?

MRS. VETOTCHKIN
He came home early from school.

BECKETT
What school did he go to?

MRS. VETOTCHKIN
He was taking night classes, at the community college in the Bronx, for graphic design.

SERGEI
Since he was a boy in Abkhazia he loved to draw.

MRS. VETOTCHKIN
But last night, he came back from class very upset. Like something was wrong.

EST – COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NIGHTTIME

INT – GRAPHIC DESIGN LAB

NATALIE BARNS
Yeah, there was definitely something wrong. I’d never seen Anton like that before.

RYAN
Could you tell us what happened?

NATALIE
Yeah, I’d given the class an assignment and Anton was working at his station like everyone else and all of a sudden he started shaking like he was terrified.

ESPOSITO
Because of what?

NATALIE
I don’t know. Well, he ran out of the room, but I saw him later in the parking lot getting into a car with some guy.

ESPOSITO
What guy? Can you describe him?

NATALIE
No, it was too dark. But I – I do remember the car. It was bright green. An old Camry.

ESPOSITO
Did you happen to get a license plate?

NATALIE
I – I got a 3, an E, and a K.

RYAN
You said this all started when he was at his station. Can we take a look at what he was working on?

NATALIE
Um, yeah. I have to log you into the system.

She sits at a computer and they watch over her should as she logs in. She pulls up ANTON’S profile and loads it. Everything is gone.

NATALIE
What the – his portfolio is gone and all of his projects have been deleted.

RYAN
Did Anton delete them? Why would he do that?

NATALIE
I have no idea.

RYAN’S phone rings.

RYAN
It’s CSU. (he answers) Ryan.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

CSU is still examining the crime scene. RYAN is back inside the ice cream truck. He opens and closes the sliding door to a side compartment when BECKETT meets up with him.

BECKETT
Ryan?

RYAN
Hey. CSU got us a lead. See how this cabinet door is open. Just like in these crime scene photos? (he hands her the photos)

BECKETT
Okay. So?

She hands the photos off to CASTLE.

RYAN
So when the cabinet door is closed –

He closes the door to show her.

BECKETT
There’s blood spatter on the door panel behind it.

RYAN nods.

CASTLE
Which means the door was closed when Anton was shot.

RYAN
Yep. Now, see – (he points) – this smear of blood on the inside edge of the door? CSU said that this came from a finger, so somebody grabbed the door from the inside, pulling it open.

CASTLE
If someone was in there when Anton was shot –

BECKET
They saw our killer.

CASTLE
A witness.

RYAN
Yeah, not only that. I think our witness might be a kid.

BECKETT
What?

He pulls an evidence bag off the counter and hands it to BECKETT.

RYAN
They left that on the inside of the cabinet. It’s a permission slip for a class trip. No usable prints on it, but it does have today’s date.

CASTLE reads the paper.

CASTLE
Kennedy Elementary. It’s less than a mile away. Assuming an afternoon dismissal, Anton was shot at 5PM –

BECKETT
Someone from that school was in this van when Anton was killed.

CASTLE
Someone from Mrs. Ruiz’s second grade class.

EST – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, DAYTIME

INT – PRINCIPAL SILVA’S OFFICE

PRINCIPAL SILVA
I can’t imagine it’s one of Mrs. Ruiz’s students. Why would they even be in that area alone?

BECKETT
Well, we’ll know more once our youth officer’s done talking to them. Now, what time did Mrs. Ruiz’s class let out yesterday?

PRINCIPAL SILVA
At 3PM. And each child was picked up by a parent or authorized guardian.

CASTLE picks up Perplexus puzzle ball from PRINCIPAL SILVA’S desk and starts playing with it.

BECKETT
Okay. And I’m going to need a list of all of their names so we can determine where they were at 5PM.

PRINCIPAL SILVA
Of course.

DETECTIVE MIRANDA DANIELS
Detective Beckett? Mrs. Ruiz and I talked to all the students. None of them seems to be your witness.

CASTLE
Except one of them has to be.

BECKETT
You know, maybe we should talk to them again.

DANIELS
If they’re afraid to come forward that’s not going to help.

PRINCIPAL SILVA
Or perhaps they didn’t see anything. Either way these children shouldn’t be subjected to endless questions.

BECKETT
No, I understand, but we have to find this witness.

DANIELS
In cases like this, a child is often more likely to open up to somebody who’s not an authority figure: a classmate, a friend.

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
So … basically we’re looking for someone who won’t intimidate them. An adult presence, in the classroom, that eight year olds will view as a peer. Someone that they can consider one of their own?

PRINCIPAL SILVA
Okay, but where would we find someone like that?

CASTLE
Got it. (he puts the Perplexus puzzle back on PRINCIPAL SILVA’S desk) Easy.

CASTLE sits back in his chair and looks proud of himself. BECKETT pretends to think more, but it’s clear that CASTLE is the perfect man for the job.

INT – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BECKETT
Thank you, Mrs. Ruiz, for letting Castle spend time in your classroom.

MRS. LESLIE RUIZ
I wasn’t given much of a choice.

BECKETT
Well, then we apologize for the imposition, but we do need to figure out who this witness is.

MRS. RUIZ
And just how are you going to do that? You spoke to them already, right?

CASTLE
Yes, but being 90% kid myself I have an ability to get into the minds of children. (BECKETT shakes her head) And I have the perfect plan.

MRS. RUIZ
Trust me, there is no such thing. Have you ever been in a room with twenty second graders, Mr. Castle?

CASTLE
I appreciate your concern, Leslie – may I call you Leslie?

MRS. RUIZ
Mrs. Ruiz is fine.

CASTLE
Excellent. I’m sure I’m more than capable of handling anything these little charmers can throw my way.

MRS. RUIZ nods like she doesn’t believe him before she opens the door to her classroom. CASTLE walks in, smiling, and is immediately hit in the head with an eraser.

CASTLE
In this case, an eraser.

BECKETT gives him a thumbs up in support. He turns back to the class and her phone rings. She answers.

BECKETT
Hey, what do you got?

ESPOSITO
We chased down that partial plate that Anton’s teacher gave us. That car she saw? It looks like it’s registered to a retired cop, Clark Jaffe.

BECKETT
A cop?

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Anton placed a call to him that night from the payphone outside the college.

BECKETT
Okay. Bring him in.

ESPOSITO
That’s going to be a problem. Jaffe’s dead. Shot to death.

BECKETT
He was shot, too? When?

ESPOSITO
Yesterday. About eight hours before Anton. And I ran ballistics. It’s a match. It’s the same shooter.

BECKETT
(sighs) Okay. I’m on my way.

She hangs up and leaves CASTLE with the kids.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

The kids are all over the place. They’re running wild, running around and not paying attention. CASTLE is overwhelmed.

CASTLE
Hey, everybody! (they don’t stop) Attention, everyone. Attention. Hey – guys.

He looks to MRS. RUIZ, lost. She gives him a small, smug smile and turns to the class.

MRS. RUIZ (calmly)
Class.

They immediately stop and take their seats. They’re quiet.

CASTLE
(chagrined) Neat trick.

MRS. RUIZ
Children, this is Mr. Castle. He’s going to be helping me with today’s lessons.

The children all chorus “Morning, Mr. Castle”.

MRS. RUIZ
(low, to CASTLE) Okay, Columbo. You’re on.

CASTLE
Right. (he clears his throat and turns to the class) Good morning, class! Does anyone here know what a writer is? (several kids raise their hands and CASTLE points to EMILY) Yes.

EMILY
A writer writes stories.

CASTLE
That’s exactly right. And who here knows a writer?

JASON
This is boring! Mrs. Ruiz said I can show and tell my instant camera.

MRS. RUIZ
Maybe later, Jason.

JASON drops his camera back on his desk and pouts. CASTLE moves on.

CASTLE
Yes.

JACK
Mr. Castle, aren’t you a writer?

CASTLE
(happily) Well as a matter of fact, I am.

JACK
Are you famous?

CASTLE
Well, I don’t know if I’d use the word famous. Some people –

JASON
My dad says your books suck.

The class starts to laugh. CASTLE is taken aback, even more so when JASON starts to make faces at him. CASTLE makes faces back.

MRS. RUIZ
Mr. Castle! (he turns to her) We do not make faces in my classroom.

CASTLE
He started it!

The class choruses out a round of “oohs” at CASTLE’S snitching.

MRS. RUIZ
You said you had a plan?

CASTLE
Yes. Yes, I have a plan. (he tries again) Aside from me, does anyone here know another writer? (there’s no answer) Tell you what. Everyone look to your left. (they do) You’re looking at a writer. Except for you guys on the end, you’re looking at a wall. (they laugh) We are all writers. If you can tell a story, you can write a story. (they perk up) So … let’s do that right now. Let’s write a story. It can be about a little boy or a little girl, just like you. It can be as silly or as scary as you want it to be.

EMILY
Can I write about having a tea party?

CASTLE
Of course you can.

SOPHIE
Mr. Castle? Is it okay to make some things up?

CASTLE
Of course, yes. You can make things up. Or you could, um, you could write it based on something that happened in real life. (MRS. RUIZ rolls her eyes) Is everyone ready? (they wait) And go!

The kids set to work. MRS. RUIZ is slightly impressed. CASTLE gives her an ‘okay’ sign and mouths ‘piece of cake’.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
We found a link between our two vics?

ESPOSITO
Other than Anton getting into Jaffe’s car that night? Not so far. And Anton’s never been in trouble with the law.

BECKETT
You talk to Anton’s parents?

ESPOSITO
Yeah, they’ve never heard of Jaffe. I’m telling you, these guys, they lived in different neighborhoods. They moved in different circles.

BECKETT
(sighs) They drive off together and then the next day they both end up dead? They’re connected. We’ve just got to find out how.

ESPOSITO
I’ve got something else. After Clark Jaffe was killed someone tossed his place.

BECKETT
The killer was looking for something.

ESPOSITO gives her a knowing look.

INT - MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

The classroom is empty of students, who are outside at recess. Sitting at Mrs. Ruiz' desk, CASTLE goes through the stories that he’s collected from the kids. MRS. RUIZ places a juice box next to him.

MRS. RUIZ
If you don’t hydrate they’ll eat you alive.

CASTLE
Thank you. That’s very kind.

He sucks at the juice box.

MRS. RUIZ
So, how are those stories they wrote? Oh, and feel free to use my desk.

CASTLE
I was – I just – you don’t like me very much, do you?

MRS. RUIZ
That’s not it, Mr. Castle. These are kids and it’s my job to protect them. Even from people who mean well. (he thinks about that) Besides, if one of them did see something, they’re too afraid to come forward. So why would you expect them to write about it?

CASTLE
Oh, I don’t. Not directly. But an experience that powerful is going to find a way to express itself and end up on the page. Even the wildest fantasies are based on a kernel of truth. As a master storyteller, I’m able to separate the make believe from the telltale details of thinly veiled fact. You mark my words, Mrs. Ruiz. Somewhere in this pile is the key to identifying our witness.

He sucks harder on the juice box. She gives him an odd look. He starts to choke.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
I followed up on Jaffe’s car. There’s no GPS, no EZ-pass, there’s no way of finding out where he and Anton went that night. Okay, what about you on financials?

ESPOSITO
For an ex-cop, the guy lived like a monk. So did Anton, which is part of our problem. The kid had no cell phone, no credit cards to pull. There’s gotta be a connection between these two guys. I’m just not finding it. But here’s what I don’t get. What’s a 22 year old ice cream man doing with an ex-cop anyway?

RYAN
I may have a lead on that. I was looking into the ice cream truck. It was ticketed last week up on Marble Hill, which is nowhere near Anton’s route.

He passes over a paper.

ESPOSITO
So…?

RYAN
So I checked in to Clark Jaffe’s financials. Jaffe’s credit card shows that he parked at a meter the exact same block on the same day.

BECKETT
That’s not a coincidence.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

They watch a video.

RYAN
This is traffic cam footage of Anton’s truck that day. Now watch.

They track ANTON as he gets out of his truck and crosses the street, disappearing into a building.

ESPOSITO
He goes into that shipping store. What’s he doing in there?

RYAN
I have no idea. But I scrubbed all the footage. This is from an hour earlier.

He rewinds the tape.

BECKETT
A green Camry. (they track the man that gets out of the car) And that’s Clark Jaffe.

ESPOSITO
Going into the same store.

BECKETT
So what were the two of them doing?

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE
I found it! (she startles and drops the poster she was trying to hang) I think I found our witness. Right here. It’s Jack. He wrote a story about an evil giant, which, from a child’s perspective, is how the killer would seem. He said that the giant spoke in a loud, angry voice, said mean things, and promised he would hurt someone.

MRS. RUIZ
That’s just "Jack and the Beanstalk".

CASTLE
Yes, but in this story the giant had a gun.

MRS. RUIZ
(sighs) Okay. Let’s say you’re right. Let’s say Jack was hiding in the ice cream truck and he’s afraid to tell anyone. How are you going to get him to tell you?

He thinks.

EXT – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The kids are outside for recess. CASTLE is on the ground on his stomach, playing with green army men with JACK.

CASTLE
Keep moving! Move up! Cover me!

JACK
Got him!

CASTLE
Nice work! Wait a minute … (he pretends to look through binoculars) … I think I see more bad guys ahead. Uh oh.

JACK
What?

CASTLE
It’s a giant. And does he? Yeah, he does. He’s got a gun.

JACK
Oh no, get down. He’s going to shoot it.

CASTLE
You think?

JACK
He did last time. He said, “I’m gonna shoot.” Then he did.

CASTLE
Last time, like in your story?

JACK
Yes. He shot his gun. Bang, bang! And then the other guy was bleeding.

CASTLE
Only, it wasn’t a story, was it, Jack? It really happened.

JACK nods.

JACK
I was scared. I closed my eyes until the giant disappeared.

CASTLE
Hey, man. You were very brave.

JACK
That’s not what my brother said.

CASTLE
Your brother was there?

JACK
He said, “Don’t be a chicken, it’s just a movie.”(CASTLE realizes JACK isn’t their witness) Then he changed the channel.

CASTLE
The giant was on TV?

JACK
Yeah.

CASTLE sits up. The front of his pants are wet.

JASON
Mr. Castle wet his pants! Mr. Castle wet his pants!

CASTLE looks down and brushes the grass off his pants. But it does look like he wet himself.

CASTLE
Oh. No, no. It’s just – the ground was wet.

But it’s not enough. The kids gather around him and laugh and JASON takes a picture. CASTLE sighs. Second graders are mean.

INT – SHIPPING STORE

CLERK
Yeah, Anton and Mr. Jaffe. They come in here a lot. (he hands back the photos to BECKETT) Uh, Anton rented a PO box here about six months ago. Box 552. And he shared it with Jaffe.

BECKETT
They were sharing a PO box?

CLERK
Yeah.

BECKETT
What kind of mail were they getting?

CLERK
That’s the thing. They weren’t getting any mail. At least, not that I ever saw.

ESPOSITO
Then why did they need the box?

CLERK
All I know is they both came in twice a week to check it.

BECKETT
Together?

CLERK
No. Usually about an hour apart.

ESPOSITO
They were using it as a dead drop.

BECKETT
Yeah, but for what? (to the CLERK) When was the last time you saw them?

CLERK
I saw them both last week. But Anton came in yesterday. And he seemed a little worked up after I told him about the phone call I got.

ESPOSITO
What phone call?

CLERK
Some dude with a Russian accent called and asked me who owned box 552. Anton’s box. I told the caller we don’t give out that kind of information. But when I mentioned the call to Anton, he flipped out.

ESPOSITO
So Anton knew this guy.

BECKETT
Yeah.

CLERK
I guess so, because he went in to total panic mode. Said he had to use the phone. But I couldn’t let him use it. It’s against company policy, so he just raced out of here.

BECKETT
What time was that?

CLERK
Three o’clock.

BECKETT
Okay. Thanks.

She and ESPOSITO move to leave.

BECKETT
3PM? That’s two hours before Anton was killed.

ESPOSITO
Sounds like this Russian dude was coming for him. Who do you think Anton was trying to call? Jaffe?

BECKETT
Or someone else connected to all of this. Look, Anton didn’t have a cell. So if he really needed to make a call, he’d go nearby.

ESPOSITO
I’ll canvass all the stores near here, see if anyone let Anton use their phone.

BECKETT
Great. (she checks her phone) And school’s almost out. I’ll get ahold of Castle and see if he’s gotten any closer to finding our witness.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE is on the phone with BECKETT. He’s surrounded by kids and forced to play monkey in the middle for his wallet.

CASTLE
Uh, no breakthroughs yet, but the good news is um … it looks like they’ve accepted me as one of their own. (to the kids) Okay guys, give me the wallet. That was a gift. (they ignore him) Ow. Right in my –

BECKETT
Wait, what is going on over there? Is there a problem?

CASTLE
No, everything’s fine. I’ll talk to you tonight. Okay, ‘bye ‘bye. (he hangs up) Okay guys, very funny. Give me back the wallet now. (they still ignore him) Mrs. Ruiz, a little help here? (she’s talking with another teacher) No?

He tries again and again to catch the wallet as it soars over his head. JASON grabs a jar of marbles and spills it on the floor. The marbles make CASTLE slip, falling hard onto his back. The kids laugh harder. The bell rings.

MRS. RUIZ
Children, line up in the hall for dismissal.

They scatter, leaving CASTLE breathless on the floor.

EMILY
Mr. Castle? (she holds out his wallet to him) Are you okay?

CASTLE
Oh, yes, I am. I’m fine. Thank you, Emily. Very kind.

EMILY
I know how it feels. Sometimes bad things happen to me, too.

CASTLE
They do?

EMILY
Uh huh. Really bad things. Things I didn’t want to tell Mrs. Ruiz when she asked me this morning.

CASTLE
Well, things like what?

EMILY
Like yesterday, I was –

EMILY’S MOM
Emily? Come along, dear. We don’t want to be late for the doctor.

EMILY sighs, but she obeys her mom. She turns back to CASTLE.

EMILY
Will you be here tomorrow?

CASTLE
You can count on it.

EMILY smiles.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT
So Esposito confirmed with Emily’s parents that her 14 year old brother was supposed to be watching her that day, but he was playing video games and he didn’t check on her for hours.

CASTLE
So she could have sneaked out. It is her, Beckett. I knew it.

BECKETT
Which is why we should have talked to her at her place last night.

CASTLE
And risk intimidating her? No, no, this girl – she’s ready to open up to me. We have … a special connection.

BECKETT giggles at his sentimentality.

BECKETT
Really? (she wraps her arms around his neck) Should I be worried?

CASTLE
Only that I’m going to solve the case before you.

BECKETT
Oh.

He kisses her quickly before he heads for the door.

ALEXIS
Where do you think you’re going?

CASTLE
Um … second grade?

ALEXIS
Not without finishing your breakfast.

She rushes toward him with a sack lunch and a forkful of breakfast.

CASTLE
I ate most of it and I just – I’m late.

ALEXIS
Come on, Dad. Just one more bite.

She holds the fork out to him.

CASTLE
Alexis, I do not have time –

She forces the fork into his mouth. BECKETT tries to hide her laugh.

ALEXIS
Now, don’t forget your lunch.

CASTLE takes it slowly, chewing. He grabs BECKETT’S arm and drags her to the door.

CASTLE
Okay, you’re right. It’s weird. I’ll talk to her.

BECKETT
Okay.

CASTLE
But right now, I’m late for a tea party.

He ducks out the door and she smiles, watching him go.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE is having a make-believe tea party with EMILY. They’re both dressed in fairy wings and crowns and each has a wand. EMILY pours him a cup of pretend tea.

CASTLE
Thank you so much. Oh, that’s plenty. Did you make this tea yourself?

EMILY
(proudly) Uh huh.

CASTLE
I have to say, it’s excellent.

EMILY
Thank you.

CASTLE
No, thank you.

EMILY
Do you want some sugar?

CASTLE
Actually, I’m trying to cut back. Do you have any low calorie fairy dust?

EMILY nods.

EMILY
Uh huh.

She pretend sprinkles some in his cup.

CASTLE
Perfect. (he exaggeratedly pretends to sip at his tea) Mmm… delicious, thank you very much. And thank you for spending recess with me.

EMILY
You’re welcome. Do you want to build an ice palace?

CASTLE
It’s only my favorite thing to do.

They swirl their wands back and forth.

CASTLE
Here we go. That’s nice. (pause) You know, Emily … do you remember yesterday? You said that something really bad happened. Something –

EMILY
You’re making the wall too high.

CASTLE
Oh. Sorry. (he pushes over an invisible wall) Is that better? (EMILY nods) You said it was something that you didn’t want to tell Mrs. Ruiz about. Do you think maybe you’d want to tell me? (EMILY shakes her head solemnly) Okay. You know, you could, if you wanted. It would just be one princess to another.

EMILY
Because princesses help each other?

CASTLE
Because princesses help each other.

EMILY
It’s about Jason.

CASTLE
(confused) Jason … the kid who makes faces Jason?

EMILY
He’s a bully. He says mean things and pulls my hair. This morning, he stepped on my foot. On purpose.

CASTLE sighs. It’s not what he thought she was going to admit.

CASTLE
Emily, do you know why people do mean things? (EMILY shakes her head) Because it makes them feel strong. Really though, you and me? We’re the strong ones. We just keep our strength inside. So sometimes we forget it’s there.

EMILY
Like sometimes I forget I have gum in my pocket.

CASTLE
Exactly. So, next time Jason does something mean, you just use that strength and just let it go. When he sees he can’t upset you, he’ll stop bothering you. Okay?

EMILY nods and leans forward to give him a kiss on the cheek.

EMILY
Can I go out and play now?

CASTLE
Of course. I’ll take care of these dishes and finish the palace.

EMILY stands and runs for the door.

MRS. RUIZ
Not her, huh?

CASTLE
Go ahead. Gloat. Maybe this was a dumb idea.

He stands and takes off his fairy princess gear.

MRS. RUIZ
Oh, it was. But that dumb idea got Emily to confide in you. You’re earning their trust, Mr. Castle.

CASTLE
I guess I am, aren’t I?

MRS.RUIZ
And if you got Emily to open up to you then, who knows? Maybe that witness really will come forward.

CASTLE
Thank you … (cautiously) … Leslie?

MRS. RUIZ
Still Mrs. Ruiz.

CASTLE
Right.

There’s a scream from outside.

MRS. RUIZ
Oh no.

CASTLE and MRS. RUIZ rush to see what happened.

EXT – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

A bunch of kids crowd around. CASTLE and MRS. RUIZ push through to the middle of the circle. JASON is on the ground, his nose bleeding.

JASON
She punched me in the nose!

EMILY
It was my inside strength. I let it go, like Mr. Castle said.

CASTLE startles.

JASON
You told her to hit me?

CASTLE
What? No, Jason –

JASON
I’m going to tell the principal!

He runs away.

CASTLE
I – that was –

He makes a face. EMILY turns to him, proud.

INT – PRINCIPAL SILVA’S OFFICE

PRINCIPAL SILVA
Mr. Castle, I’m sure that this is being blown out of proportion. But I’ll be candid. Jason’s parents are two high powered lawyers with a zest for litigation. We found out a while ago that it’s best not to upset them.

CASTLE
So what are you saying?

PRINCIPAL SILVA
We gave this experiment a fair shot. But now we have to move on.

CASTLE
Principal Silva, please. It – I just need a little more time.

PRINCIPAL SILVA
I wish that I could believe that, Mr. Castle, but have you made any progress in identifying this supposed witness? Any progress at all?

CASTLE doesn’t want to admit that he hasn’t.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
Nothing pops with these financials. If Anton and Jaffe were doing anything illegal with that PO box, they weren’t making much money.

BECKETT
Clark Jaffe put in thirty years, he retired with commendations and a spotless service record. Why would someone like him break the law?

RYAN
(sighs) I’m asking the same thing about Anton. What we really need is Castle’s witness.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Canvass got a hit. The owner of a bodega near that mailbox store said that Anton came in all desperate to use the phone. The guy let him make a call.

BECKETT
To whom?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO adds a photo to the murder board.

ESPOSITO
To this guy. Dmitri Kalenkov. He emigrated to the US in ’03 and is rumored to be an enforcer for the Bratva.

BECKETT
Russian organized crime?

RYAN
Wait a minute. The guy who called asking about the PO box, wasn’t he Russian, too? What if that was Dmitri and he’s the one that took out Jaffe and Anton?

BECKETT
Maybe they were involved in something illegal and whatever it was stepped on Russian mob turf.

ESPOSITO
So Anton called Dmitri to smooth things over.

RYAN
And ended up taking two in the chest.

OFFICER LT hands ESPOSITO a file.

ESPOSITO
Thanks, LT. Organized crime just got a current address on Dmitri.

They head out.

INT – HOUSE

The team busts the door down.

RYAN
NYPD!

BECKETT
Dmitri Kalenkov!

ESPOSITO
NYPD!

BECKETT
Hands up, hands up!

The SWAT team swarms the house, but no one responds.

ESPOSITO
NYPD!

BECKETT
Hands up, Dmitri!

They stop short when they reach the kitchen.

ESPOSITO
Oh, that smells good.

ESPOSITO continues on into the next room. DMITRI KALENKOV is dead on the ground.

ESPOSITO
Found him. It’s Dmitri.

There are flies buzzing around his body and blood everywhere. BECKETT tries to compose herself, but even ESPOSITO is having a hard time with the smell.

ESPOSITO
He’s been shot. Been dead at least a couple of days.

RYAN
Hey, Beckett? Check it out. (she steps over) Electrical cable? Car battery? Leads?

BECKETT
He was tortured first.

RYAN nods.

EXT – HOUSE

CSU and more officers have shown up to DMITRI’S house.

LANIE
Well, someone might have been tortured here, but it was Dmitri.

LANIE is the only one that doesn’t seem affected by the smell.

BECKETT
Are you sure?

LANIE
The only injury I see besides bullet wounds is a blunt force trauma to the back of the head, and by the look of the contusion I would say it was made by that broken chair arm.

She points.

ESPOSITO
So if Dmitri wasn’t tortured, maybe he was the one doing the torturing. It fits the profile of a mob enforcer.

BECKETT
Which means whoever was tied into that chair broke free, overpowered Dmitri, and then shot him. (to LANIE) How long has he been dead?

LANIE
I’d say at least three days.

ESPOSITO
So Dmitri was killed before Jaffe and Anton.

LANIE
And most likely by the same shooter. Same two taps to the chest.

BECKETT can’t take it anymore. She stands.

BECKETT
Okay, thanks, Lanie.

She and ESPOSITO leave the room.

BECKETT
Why kill a mob enforcer, an ice cream man, and a retired cop? What were they mixed up in?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know, but it’s starting to look like a Russian thing with Anton, Dmitri, the guy who called the mailbox store.

BECKETT
Okay, touch base with organized crime again. Let’s see if there’s a conflict in the Russian community.

They leave the house.

RYAN
Hey. That was Anton’s parents. Someone just broke into their apartment and tossed the place.

ESPOSITO
Just like Jaffe’s place was tossed.

BECKETT
The killer’s after something. Something that our victims had.

RYAN
Yeah, but what?

EST – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, DAYTIME

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE
Bye! Bye, sweetheart. ‘Bye Fiona. ‘Bye June. ‘Bye Sophie. ‘Bye Sarah. ‘Bye. Have a good one, buddy. Jack, you make sure you keep your guard up on that battlefield, all right? (JACK winks.) All right. (a GIRL reaches for his hand) ‘Bye sweetheart.

GIRL
‘Bye.

EMILY is sad when she walks toward him.

EMILY
You’re leaving?

CASTLE
Oh, yeah, Emily, I’ve gotta go.

EMILY
Is it because I got you in trouble?

CASTLE
Oh, no. No, Emily, that’s not your fault. I’m always in trouble. (he smiles) Come here. (she steps forward and gives him a hug) You make sure you use your princess powers for good, okay?

She gives him a sad smile.

EMILY
‘Bye.

He sighs as he leaves. He puts on a happy face and waves.

CASTLE
‘Bye, guys!

MRS. RUIZ
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m sorry to see you leave.

He holds out his hand and she shakes it.

CASTLE
Thank you very much, Mrs. Ruiz.

MRS.RUIZ
Please, call me Leslie. (he pauses in surprise) I’ll contact you if there are new developments.

CASTLE
I appreciate that.

MRS. RUIZ
Take care.

CASTLE steps out of the classroom. He notices there’s a letter in the pocket of his jacket. He pulls it out and opens it. What he sees makes him pause.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

SERGEI
I could not believe what I saw. When my wife and I got back from lunch the door was kicked in and the place was torn apart.

RYAN
Do you have any idea what they were looking for?

SERGEI
(sighs) In Anton’s room the ceiling vent was pried open and on the floor, right below it, I found this.

He pulls out an envelope and hands it to BECKETT. She opens it.

BECKETT
Passports?

RYAN flips through a couple.

RYAN
They’re blank.

BECKETT
What was Anton doing with these?

SERGEI
I’ve never seen them before today. What was my son involved in?

RYAN
(to BECKETT) He was studying graphic design. Do you think he was forging passports?

BECKETT
Mr. Vetotchkin, I need to ask you. Do you recognize this man?

She hold out a photo of DMITRI.

SERGEI
Yes, that’s Dmitri. Dmitri Kalenkov.

BECKETT
And how do you know him?

SERGEI
He and my son grew up together, back in Abkhazia, before the war. Was Dmitri involved in this, too?

BECKETT’S phone rings.

BECKETT
I’m sorry. Just one moment. (she turns away to answer) Hey.

CASTLE
Beckett, you need to come down here. I found something.

INT – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BECKETT holds the paper CASTLE found in his jacket. It’s a drawing of an ice cream truck.

BECKETT
Castle, whoever put this in your pocket –

CASTLE
Is sending me a message. Our witness is reluctant to come forward, but when they saw I was leaving it forced their hand.

BECKETT
Have you tried just asking who drew it?

CASTLE
I don’t want to scare them off. But I have a plan.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE walks back into the classroom. BECKETT follows behind him. When MRS. RUIZ sees them she stands.

MRS. RUIZ
Okay, class! Time for that extra recess period I promised you for being extra good today.

The kids stand and start to cheer. They head for the door. Before she leaves, EMILY walks over and sizes up BECKETT.

EMILY
I’m Emily. Who are you?

BECKETT
I’m Kate. I’m Mr. Castle’s … friend.

EMILY
Do you like to play princess with him?

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
Uh … (she nods )… sometimes.

CASTLE forces a smile at EMILY.

EMILY
Are you two getting married?

BECKETT looks at CASTLE with raised eyebrows.

BECKETT (with CASTLE)
One day.

CASTLE (with BECKETT)
One day.

It’s enough for EMILY, though it’s almost like she doesn’t like the answer. She leaves to go play.

MRS. RUIZ
Now’s our chance. I’ll take the front. You guys take the back.

BECKETT
Okay, so what are we looking for?

They each take a desk and start searching.

CASTLE
A drawing that looks like it could have been made by the same kid.

BECKETT
Well, these are second graders. I mean, don’t their drawings look the same?

MRS. RUIZ
Not to me, Detective. When you live and breathe these children, every scribble is like a fingerprint.

CASTLE
I imagine they won’t need much prompting when we confront them. This has clearly been eating away at their delicate little psyches. Given the chance to unburden themselves –

MRS. RUIZ
Found it.

She holds up a drawing similar to the one that was in CASTLE’S pocket.

CASTLE
All right. Who is our sensitive little soul?

JASON
Hey! Mrs. Ruiz! Why are you going through my desk?

CASTLE
Jason? (he looks at the drawing) You’re the witness?

JASON’S mouth closes and he deflates.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

JASON
I’m not talking to Mr. Castle. He’s a jerkface.

CASTLE and BECKETT hang back.

CASTLE
(low, to BECKETT) Okay, you know what? He’s the jerkface.

BECKETT
He’s eight years old. You’ve been here for a day and a half and you already have a nemesis?

CASTLE
How was I supposed to know he’d be the witness?

She gives CASTLE a look. They join JASON and MRS. RUIZ. BECKETT sits in front of JASON.

BECKETT
Jason, honey, I want you to know that you’re not in trouble, okay?

JASON
Duh. All I did was draw a picture.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE. Maybe he wasn’t so far off JASON’S attitude. But she pushes it aside.

BECKETT
Exactly. But I know that you want to tell me all about this picture. Except jerkface over there – (she nods to CASTLE) – he thinks you’re scared and that we should call your mom to come pick you up.

JASON
(to CASTLE) I’m not scared!

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) Told ya. (to JASON) So listen, I need you to tell me everything that you remember seeing while you were hiding in this ice cream truck.

JASON
I – I can’t.

CASTLE
Jason, believe me. It’s going to feel a lot better letting it out rather than keeping it in.

JASON
No. I can’t because I wasn’t there.

He sighs heavily and puts his head down on the desk.

BECKETT
You weren’t?

JASON
(low) But I know who was.

CASTLE
Who?

JASON
I’m not supposed to tell.

BECKETT
Jason, listen. We just want to help you. Okay?

He’s silent for a long time. When he finally picks his head up off the desk he looks at BECKETT.

JASON
It was my sister.

BECKETT
Okay. Does she go to this school, too?

JASON
She’s a grown up. We have different dads. I stay with her when our mom goes out of town.

CASTLE
So you gave her your permission slip that day.

JASON
She dropped me off, then she said she had to meet her friend, the ice cream man. When she came home she was crying. She told me never to tell anyone where she went or something bad would happen.

He puts his head back down.

BECKETT
What’s your sister’s name?

INT – GRAPHIC DESIGN LAB

ESPOSITO
Natalie Barnes!

She freezes.

RYAN
We’re going to need you to come with us.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

NATALIE
I was never in Anton’s truck.

She’s adamant. She’s been crying.

BECKETT
I know that you were, Natalie. Listen, whatever you are scared of, I will protect you. But you have to tell me the truth. And you have to start with those passports that you helped Anton forge.

NATALIE gives her a scared look.

BECKETT
So you were involved.

NATALIE
We were just trying to do something good.

BECKETT
Who do you mean by ‘we’? You, Anton, and Jaffe?

NATALIE
Yeah.

BECKETT
Tell me about the passports.

NATALIE
Anton’s route covered Brighton Beach. And there were a lot of Russians there. And he’d seen so many of them come here with the promise of a job and then their papers would be taken and they’d be forced to work in sweatshops or – or worse and Anton was trying to get them back home.

BECKETT
Which they couldn’t do, not without the right documents.

NATALIE
Yeah.

BECKETT
And how did Jaffe fit in to all of this?

NATALIE
Well, Anton heard that Jaffe had a connection that could get blank passports, and Jaffe worked Brighton Beach as a cop, so he knew what was going on and – and he was sympathetic to the immigrants.

BECKETT
And you were the one with the high-tech design software. That’s why Anton took your class.

NATALIE
When I found out what Anton was doing I – I decided to help because I …. I wanted to make a difference.

BECKETT sits back. NATALIE’S still scared.

BECKETT
I don’t understand how this got anyone killed.

NATALIE
The other night Anton was making a passport in class and he saw the photo of the client. And he recognized the man, it was this – this terrible man from his past.

BECKETT
Who?

NATALIE
Anton called him Polkovnik. Anton was terrified of him. He said that this Polkovnik once tried to kill him. But Anton said that he had to – to show the picture to a friend of his, just to be sure. Some guy called Dmitri.

BECKETT
Natalie, what did you see in that van?

NATALIE
Anton had left a message for me to meet him in his ice cream truck. Away from his usual route. And when I got there he said that Jaffe was dead. And that this man had killed him and that he was afraid that we would be next if we didn’t run. Well then, Anton saw him coming so he told me to hide. And I watched. I watched as Polkovnik gunned Anton down.

BECKETT
You see his face?

NATALIE nods. She’s shaking. She’s still afraid.

BECKETT
Can you describe him?

NATALIE
Yeah, I can do better.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
Wait, are you saying she’s got a picture of Polkovnik?

BECKETT
Yeah, in an envelope at her apartment, along with other information on him. Why?

RYAN
Because we looked into this guy, Polkovnik.

CASTLE
Suffice to say, he’s wanted for more than just three murders.

BECKETT
Here in New York?

RYAN
No, in the Abkhazian region of Georgia ten years ago. He’s wanted by the World Court for war crimes.

ESPOSITO
He was a militia leader. Committed atrocities, wiped out villages, including where Anton and Dmitri lived. That’s why they fled. Interpol’s been after this guy ever since.

CASTLE
They got a tip Polkovnik was in New York so they’re tightening the net. Only one problem – there’s no pictures of this guy, so no one knows what he looks like.

RYAN
And he wants to keep it this way, so when Dmitri tried to take justice into his own hands Polkovnik killed him. Then he tracked down Jaffe and Anton and killed them, too. He knew that they could ID him.

BECKETT
That’s what he was looking for, the picture that Anton was going to use on his passport.

CASTLE
A passport that he desperately needs to get out of this country.

BECKETT
Okay, that photo’s at Natalie’s place. Let’s go.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DUSK

INT – NATALIE’S APARTMENT

BECKETT opens up the door. They might be too late – NATALIE’S apartment has been torn apart, too.

BECKETT
He’s been here.

CASTLE
Natalie said it was in the bedroom dresser, bottom right drawer.

They don’t waste time searching. They head to the bedroom and CASTLE rummages through the drawer.

CASTLE
It’s not here. He must have found it.

BECKETT
(into her phone) It’s not in the drawer, Natalie.

NATALIE
The photo was in an envelope. I hid it in an old camera case.

CASTLE
Wait. Jason said he stayed here because his mom was out of town.

BECKETT
So?

CASTLE
Natalie, the – the camera case that you put the envelope in, was it for a Polaroid camera?

NATALIE
How’d you know?

CASTLE
Because Jason brought it to Kennedy Elementary yesterday for show and tell. That photo is in Mrs. Ruiz’s classroom right now.

BECKETT
We get that photo, we’ll get Polkovnik. Come on.

They leave. They’re so close. But now so is POLKOVNIK, who was hiding under the bed.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
The FBI’s been notified. They have agents on the way and their tactical units are sweeping the area around Natalie’s apartment.

BECKETT
Where are we on the APB?

RYAN
Ready to go. And the Feds want to get this on the evening news. All they need is that photo.

BECKETT
Yep. They’ll have it in five.

RYAN
Okay.

BECKETT hangs up.

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

BECKETT
Okay, which one’s Jason’s desk?

CASTLE rushes over.

CASTLE
Right here.

He opens JASON’S desk and pulls out the camera case, from which he pulls out the envelope. He holds up the photo.

CASTLE
Got it.

Except POLKOVNIK has followed them to find that photo, too.

CASTLE
Behind you!

BECKETT disarms POLKOVNIK and manages to get in a few good punches, but he pushes her across the room. She goes down hard. CASTLE tries to take POLKOVNIK down, but he’s not strong enough. He gets thrown to the ground, too. POLKOVNIK reaches for the envelope in CASTLE’S hand, kicking him in the chest when he doesn’t give it up.

BECKETT scrambles for a gun, but POLKOVNIK is faster, punching her in the stomach and sending her tumbling over the desks. He’s about to walk out of the room, the envelope in his hand, when CASTLE gets an idea.

CASTLE grabs the glass full of marbles and throws them to the ground. Just like CASTLE did the day before, POLKOVNIK slips and falls roughly. It gives BECKETT enough time to stumble over and put him in a hold, reaching for her handcuffs.

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) You okay?

CASTLE
Yeah. I’ve taken worse. In this classroom, as a matter of fact.

BECKETT is confused. How much trouble could a bunch of second graders be?

EST – KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, DAYTIME

INT – MRS. RUIZ’S CLASSROOM

CASTLE
Cupcake stampede! Come and get them, guys.

The kids rush forward. CASTLE and BECKETT have brought various cupcakes for the class.

CASTLE
There you go. One for everyone. Help yourselves. This is just a little thank you to say what a wonderful time I had with all for you. There you go. You’re welcome. I’m going to miss every one of you.

JASON
Even me?

CASTLE
Yes Jason, even you. What do you say? Truce?

JASON
Yeah, truce.

CASTLE
All right.

JASON and CASTLE hug. BECKETT smiles at them, until she realizes that JASON has put a sign that says ‘jerkface’ on CASTLE’S back. She takes it off for him.

BECKETT
It looks like your nemesis isn’t ready to call it a truce just yet.

She shows him the sign.

CASTLE
Yeah. Especially not when he sees what I put on his back.

There’s a sign on JASON’S back that says ‘frog breath’. JASON’S FRIEND takes it off for him and hands it over.

CASTLE
Leslie? One for you?

MRS. RUIZ
No, thanks.

BECKETT
Actually, we have something else for you as well. (she puts down the platter of cupcakes and stands, holding out a box to MRS. RUIZ) This is a medal of outstanding service from the NYPD for your invaluable help with tracking down our witness.

MRS. RUIZ is uncomfortable.

MRS. RUIZ
What’s going to happen to Jason’s sister, anyway?

BECKETT
She’s agreed to testify. And with her help, our three victims, along with many, many other people, will finally get justice.

MRS. RUIZ holds out the box to BECKETT.

MRS. RUIZ
Then maybe you should give this medal to her. I didn’t do much to deserve it.

BECKETT
Are you kidding? You put up with Castle for two whole days.

MRS. RUIZ laughs.

MRS. RUIZ
I enjoyed the challenge. In my experience, it’s the most difficult children who prove most rewarding. Isn’t that right, Mr. Castle –

They look over. CASTLE is making faces at JASON. JASON is giving back just as good as he’s getting.

MRS. RUIZ
Mr. Castle!

CASTLE startles.

CASTLE
No faces. That’s right.

He pushes JASON’S hands down and tries to pull an innocent face.

MRS. RUIZ
Thank you.

CASTLE’S phone rings.

CASTLE
Oh.

JASON
See you later.

They shake hands.

CASTLE
Later, J. That’s me … (he checks his messages)

BECKETT
What’s wrong?

CASTLE
It’s Alexis texting me. “Be sure you come home right after school.” How’d she even know I was here right now? (he pokes through his phone) She put one of those tracker apps on my phone!

BECKETT
Um, Castle … this is getting a little out of hand.

CASTLE
Yeah. I’m going to have to deal with this. (he brightens) And I think I know how.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE opens the door and glides in on a scooter. ALEXIS is waiting for him on the stairs.

ALEXIS
Dad, what took you so long? School ended hours ago.

CASTLE
Alexis, sweetheart –

ALEXIS
I’m been really worried.

CASTLE
Yes, I know. And I think I know why. Because I disappeared. But I’m back now and I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to stay.

ALEXIS
I just keep thinking I’ll lose you again or something terrible will happen. I know it sounds crazy –

CASTLE
No. No, it does not sound crazy. I would feel the same way. Matter of fact, I did.

She nods.

ALEXIS
(low) After Paris.

CASTLE
After Paris. I couldn’t let you out of my sight. (he wipes away a tear) But I know that you consider yourself the adult of the family –

ALEXIS
For good reason.

CASTLE
For very good reason. But … but part of being an adult is realizing you can’t always protect the people you love.

ALEXIS sighs.

ALEXIS
(small) Okay.

CASTLE
Okay.

They hug.

ALEXIS
Being an adult really sucks.

CASTLE
Yeah. And you’ve spent way too much time having to be one. So …

He runs out into the hallway and rides back in on another scooter.

CASTLE
I’m ordering you to be a kid.

ALEXIS
Don’t you think I’m a little old for that?

CASTLE
I am not too old for it, so you are definitely not too old for it. Don’t you think we should at least test them out?

He looks at her expectantly. She smiles back.

ALEXIS
Okay.

CASTLE
Okay.

He holds her scooter up and grabs his own.

CASTLE
Where do you want to go?

ALEXIS
I don’t know. Ice cream?

CASTLE
How about pizza? After this case I might be off ice cream for a while.

She laughs.

ALEXIS
Okay.

They glide out of the loft together, shutting the door behind them.


THE END

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